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Police Abuse of Sex Workers: A Global Reality, Widely Ignored

Cambodian sex workers stage a protest against a police crackdown on prostitution. © 2008 AP Photo

Sex workers deserve the basic respect and protection from violence that each nation owes its citizens. But in many settings, police abuse of sex workers receives scant public attention despite its entrenched global reality.

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UPDATED: Federal Appeals Court Overturns United States “Prostitution Pledge” for U.S. Groups; Int’l Orgs Still Subject to Pledge

A federal court today ruled that the government cannot force U.S. organizations to “denounce” prositution and sex trafficking as a condition for recieving international HIV and AIDS funding. The ruling applies only to U.S.-based non-governmental organizations and does not relieve non-U.S. organizations recieving U.S. funds from being subject to restrictions.

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Louisiana Sex Workers Will No Longer Be Labeled as Sex Offenders

Louisiana’s era of forcing certain convicted sex workers to register as sex offenders appears to be over. Governor Jindall’s office announced today that he had signed into law a bill, sponsored by Louisiana State Representative Charmaine Marchand Stiaes, that effectively moves prostitution convictions back to the level of misdemeanor.

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D.C.’s Punitive Sex Work Laws Endanger Women

Washington, DC has created a spectrum of punitive laws that lead to and exacerbate unsafe work environments for sex workers and contribute to the skyrocketing rates of HIV infection among vulnerable populations in the District.

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DOJ Drops Appeal of “Prostitution Pledge” Injunction

The Justice Department has dropped its appeal of an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the controversial "prostitution pledge" in US Global AIDS Policy.  Advocates hope this signals an intention to fundamentally change the restriction.

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Trafficking Report: Less Sensationalism, More Reality

The State Department’s new Trafficking in Persons report suggests that the Obama administration will opt for evidence-based responses to trafficking over putting restrictions on women "for their own good."

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Gates Foundation Program to Fight HIV in India Wasted, Says Forbes India

Forbes India today evaluates Avahan, the $258 million Gates Foundation HIV prevention initiative on the ground in India. And the program doesn’t fare well.

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Good News On U.S. Anti-Trafficking Policy

The White House’s appointment of Luis de Baca to be the head of the Trafficking In Persons office suggests that it appreciates the importance of a harm reduction approach to the problem of trafficking.

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Harm Reduction Lessons for Reproductive Justice

Harm reduction is a public health philosophy that emphasizes individual safety, regardless of lifestyle choices, over prohibition. How can this approach make sex work safer?

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Sex Worker Advocates Score Victory Against Stigmatization in India

Sex workers rights advocates have reason to celebrate this International Sex Workers Rights Day. Last week, an amendment that would have further stigmatized sex workers failed in the Indian Cabinet.

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